2d20 and different genres

This blog is prompted by a conversation about which genres 2d20 currently covers, and which it doesn’t.

Thought I would start with the DTRPG genres list

Genres category on DTRPG

Family Gaming? Erm, not really, but John Carter comes closest. I’ve avoided using 2d20 with my family so far. while I think the dice rolling and core rules are pretty simple I don’t think they would click with buying extra dice. Dishonored has the simplest core, so I’d probably go with that If i was desperate, but obviously in a different setting.


2d20 has us covered twice. Achtung! Cthulhu is set in and around WW2. And Conan covers a lot of different historical periods in it’s various countries. In both cases, just strip out the fantastical stuff.


Achtung! Cthulhu and Mutant chronicles are both horror, and Conan has a lot of horror elements also.


Achtung! Cthulhu is close to modern, but then it lacks things like computers. Devil’s Run is a bit the other way, close to Modern, but not really. But Modern isn’t really a genre. Espionage is, and Dishonored covers that, but not for Modern-day, but a few tweaks (changing powers to tech for example) and you have a pretty good spy game.


There are Three main sub-genres in here I am interested in ; Anime, Supers, Cross-genre. 2d20 can do Cross-genre pretty well. If for example I was doing TORG it could cover a good chunk of the cosms. I wouldn’t use 2d20 though, I’d use TORG – I already have the books. But if I was doing my own cross-genre game, 2d20 would work. By anime I mean the crazy OTT fighting stuff, or mechs, or magical girls. RAW none of the 2d20 games really do this. Infinity can cope with most of the Sci-fi stuff though. As for supers, I would stick to a supers system. I’ve seen generic systems try supers (Savage Worlds, Genesys) and it doesn’t really work. Supers is so off the basic scale of most RPGs it needs a game written for supers. Low level supers like Batman, Daredevil, the Shadow or the Phantom, that would probably work fine.


Sci-Fi is pretty big, so I thought I would look at the subgenres.

Cyberpunk is quite well covered by Infinity. I’d like the cyberware to go a bit more in depth, but it works and has all the main stuff. The Limits on what you can install are quite harsh, so they might want tweaking. Infinity also goes into more transhuman stuff like body-modding, genetics, and uploading of the mind.

Hard Sci-fi is an odd sort of genre. Arguably no sci-fi is hard, because most uses technology that doesn’t exist, or throws in Aliens or portals. Again, Infinity is pretty Hard Sci-fi, and you could remove the bits that you don’t like. Mutant Chronicles also feels like Hard sci-fi in it’s grittyness, just drop all the dark v light stuff. Is Dune hard sci-fi?

Mecha! Infinity has Tags, but they are like maybe 20 feet tall, not 100. But Infinity is closest.

Post-Apocalypse. 2d20 serves this sub-genre very well with Fallout, Devil’s Run and Mutant Chronicles.

Space Opera. Infinity feels like space opera. Mutant Chronicles could be played as such. John Carter is Planetary Romance, but this is a pre-cursor to Space Opera. Dune must fall in here. And then of course there is Star Trek! Between these five games, you should be able to run a lot of space opera. But if I was playing Star Wars, I’d use the FFG system, because it was so well supported.


Fantasy is the bread and butter of RPGs. D&D covers a lot of what people want from Fantasy, but it doesn do a very particular kind of Zero to Hero game. What can 2d20 offer?

As I mentioned under anime, 2d20 doesn’t do Wuxia RAW, but I think you could easily throw in some momentum spends and it would. I think it would be a new setting though.

Both Conan and Dishonored are dark fantasy. But If you mean Warhammer, then take one of those two systems and tweak it. Or take Achtung! and remove guns and tanks.

High Fantasy is not served by 2d20. I’m not even sure where to start to be honest. This is the big gap in the current line.

Conan almost does Classic Fantasy. The settings in the books are well varied but human centric. But turning some types of people into monsters, Orcs and Elves would be pretty easy. I think the magic in A!C is better for this than Conan, but even that would need a lot more doing. Like High Fantasy, this is the area missing the most.

Dishonored is a steampunk setting but the game doesn’t go too much into that side. With it’s crafting rules, Fallout feels closer in some ways!

Conan is the classic sword and sorcery, and John Carter fits in here as well.

So as we can see some genres and sub genres are bizarrely well served while others are just missing. 5 space opera, 3 post-apocalyptic, 2 sword and sorcery seems odd when we have no high or classic fantasy games. But Modiphius mostly chooses franchises to convert rather than gaps to fill. Of course, there is an obvious fantasy franchise they are linked with; Elder Scrolls! Fingers crossed!

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